Written by Bennett Guess
Editor's update (3/5/2008): Additional appeals for this fund have been suspended, at least momentarily, due to the immediate and generous response from members and supporters.
The UCC has announced the creation of a fund to help defray anticipated legal expenses related to an announced IRS investigation of the church.
In a Feb. 27 letter to members and supporters, General Minister and President John H. Thomas said the fund was necessary "to ensure that money given for mission will not be needed to pay legal bills, instead of ministry needs."
"In order to adequately defend ourselves as well as protect the broader principle of the freedom of religious communities to entertain questions of faith and public life, we will need to secure expert legal counsel, and the cost of this defense, we are told, could approach or exceed six figures," Thomas wrote. "This is troubling news."
Direct contributions can be made to "United Church of Christ" (with "UCC Legal Fund" in the memo) and mailed to:
UCC Legal Fund
United Church of Christ
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100